Mark Your Milestones

By Thad Plumley

It will be common one month from now to hear people discussing their latest New Year’s resolutions.

Everything from less carbs, more exercise, and watching less reality television will be discussed by family, friends, and coworkers. And let’s be honest, we all know most of the good intentions won’t make it out of January.

What is less common is closing out the year by looking back at the previous 12 months and marking your milestones. Just as it is important to set goals, it is also critical to look back and note achievements that have taken place in your life.

For me, nothing in 2017 will top being a part of a 65th wedding anniversary celebration for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. My mother-in-law is now in her fifth year of bravely battling cancer, so yes, we celebrated with gusto!

There were countless other events that made me smile or proud. I am sure the same is true for you.

And while it is fun to do personally, I think it is critical to do professionally. As I look back on the last 12 months of Water Well Journal, I am proud of several things. Here’s just a few:

  • As 2017 kicked off, the WWJ staff debuted a new website at It features complete content of all of our monthly features and columns as well as a news section updated regularly. It really should be bookmarked by everyone working in the groundwater industry.
  • Midway through the year, we added to the site a web-only section with important industry content you won’t find in the print magazine.
  • Also added was a searchable classified advertising section, which we update throughout the month. These ads can be shared via social media, giving them the potential for more exposure than ever before.
  • We debuted in our print magazine the department WWJ Closeup, a full-page photo of a water well system professional with their comments on a variety of topics. This has been a hit! I’ve gotten a lot of feedback. Thank you and be on the lookout for more closeups next year.
  • A digital issue of WWJ was delivered for a third consecutive year to subscribers with email addresses. Each month, online readers view thousands of pages featuring WWJ content and share articles via social media.
  • WWJ won its 29th APEX Award and was honored for the 15th consecutive year. Both numbers are humbling, but here’s what I am most proud of: Over the years, WWJ has been recognized in eight different categories, everything from columns, feature articles, writing series, covers, and more. The fact our journal is a respected tool for you from cover to cover is awesome.

What about you? Hopefully every year you set goals to get better personally as a water well system professional as well as noting items you want your company to achieve. If so, carve out some time to reflect on the last 12 months.

It will be fun to see how you’ve done, important to know what you still need to achieve—and more satisfying than getting caught up in the reality television talk!

Thad PlumleyThad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl.

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